A Short Jerusalem Taxi Story
Got to get ready for Shabbat – but one quick story to blog about before I go. This morning I woke up late – just after 8 which meant I missed the local 8 O’Clock minyan. So I decided to go to the Kotel to daven – I like going there anyway on any Friday I can. As I get the Derech Chevron, the main street where the buses run I see my bus wiz by which usually means at least a 20 minute wait.
But then something amazing happened. A taxi who saw that I just missed the bus pulled up to the bus stop and starts honking. I wave him off – I have a “Chodshi Chofshi” (a monthly pass) for the bus after all why would I take a cab?
“Lo, Ze Chenam! Bli Kessef! – [No, it’s free, no money!]” he calls to me.
“Free?” I say – “Why?”
“It’s a chessed [kind deed]! I’m going this way anyway to drop off the taxi somewhere so I might as well take you.”
Bear in mind, we had this entire discussion in Hebrew. And we continued to talk about where I’m from and how there is no kedusha in America and about what is happening in New Orleans being “Mida Kinegged Mida” [measure for measure] punishment for the US Government supporting the uprooting of Jewish communities in Gush Katif. “I will curse those that curse you!” If Gush Katif is to be uprooted those that supported it will be uprooted a hundred-fold. (President Bush’s Christian supporters should make him aware of this – and conversely if America blesses Israel by supporting expanding Jewish Communities instead of destroying them we will see America greatly prosper!)
So I was impressed that for the first time in my life I was able to keep up a conversation in Hebrew with a taxi driver. And I was even more impressed that your typical taxi driver in Yerushalayim (he wasn’t wearing a kippa if you were wondering) was talking about chessed and kudusha. And then he asked me to have him in mind when I daven at the Kotel. I did.
Now my question to the reader: Did a NYC cabbie, ever, in the history of New York, offer anyone a FREE lift?
What a country! So many holy Jews here.